Druid Hills Charter Cluster officially disbands

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt February 12, 2015
Photo obtained via https://www.facebook.com/DruidHillsCharterCluster/

Photo obtained via https://www.facebook.com/DruidHillsCharterCluster/

This story has been updated. 

The Druid Hills Charter Cluster board has decided to call it quits.

The board met on Feb. 10 and voted to dissolve Druid Hills Charter Cluster Inc. The group’s announcement comes after a recent attempt to restart discussions about the charter cluster idea with DeKalb County Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

Representatives from the board met with Thurmond on Feb. 4. While Thurmond described the meeting as respectful and suggested there might be a way forward, board members did not see it that way. A summary of the meeting obtained by Decaturish says that Thurmond remains deeply opposed to the idea.

Druid Hills Charter Cluster Board Chairman Matt Lewis said, “While our efforts to provide meaningful reform, including local autonomy, innovative educational programs, and the state’s first charter cluster open to any student in the attendance area failed, the attention to needed reform will continue.  We are grateful for the chance to have worked with our friends, neighbors, parents, teachers and other professionals to boldly try something different in the interest of improving k-12 public education for all students.  We hope that the increase in school-based parental involvement this effort helped create will continue.”

If the Charter Cluster idea had been successful, it would have encompassed seven schools – Avondale Elementary, Briar Vista Elementary, Fernbank Elementary, Laurel Ridge Elementary, McLendon Elementary, Druid Hills Middle School and Druid Hills High School. The annexation would also include Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some members of the Charter Cluster group have joined another group called Together in Atlanta. That group wants to annex three of the charter cluster schools – Briar Vista and Fernbank Elementary Schools, as well as Druid Hills High – into the city of Atlanta. That has raised concerns among parents of the other schools that feed into Druid Hills High. It is not known where these students will attend high school if Druid Hills High becomes part of Atlanta Public Schools.

The TIA proposal is part of a larger debate over annexation and cityhood in DeKalb County. So far no bills have been introduced in support of the annexation plans of Decatur and Avondale Estates. There are also no current bills in support of creating new cities like LaVista Hills, Tucker, Greenhaven or Stonecrest.

Decaturish has learned that there are currently ongoing negotiations regarding the boundaries of the LaVista Hills map. While a legislative panel settled LaVista Hills’ boundary conflicts with a proposed city of Tucker, the LaVista Hills map does still conflict with the Together in Atlanta map.

Here is the full statement from the Druid Hills Charter Cluster:

The Board of the Druid Hills Charter Cluster met on February 10, 2015 and agreed by unanimous vote of all members present to dissolve Druid Hills Charter Cluster, Inc.  The group’s web and Facebook pages will remain up for two more weeks and all records, research, drafts and other tools utilized during the charter petition process will be preserved and made available to other groups, clusters, or systems that have interest in or need of them.  The board asked that any remaining funds in the DHCC, Inc account be donated to the Druid HIlls High School PTA.

“While our efforts to provide meaningful reform, including local autonomy, innovative educational programs, and the state’s first charter cluster open to any student in the attendance area failed, the attention to needed reform will continue.  We are grateful for the chance to have worked with our friends, neighbors, parents, teachers and other professionals to boldly try something different in the interest of improving k-12 public education for all students.  We hope that the increase in school-based parental involvement this effort helped create will continue,” said DHCC Board Chair Matt Lewis.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

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